US University Staff Punished for Voicing Opinions

October 19, 2001

The Guardian

Freedom of speech is being curtailed in universities across the US in light of the September 11 atrocities, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Thor Halvorssen, head of the foundation, which provides free legal help for staff, said various academics have been punished or rebuked for expressing opinions about American foreign policy or the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

The most high profile case is that of Jonnie Hargis, an assistant librarian at the University of California, who was suspended for five days for questioning America's policy towards Israel.

Mr Hargis claims he was infuriated by a jingoistic email sent to him. He sent one back saying US taxpayers "fund and arm an apartheid state called Israel, which is responsible for untold thousands upon thousands of deaths of Muslim Palestinian children and civilians...

Schools: Orange Coast College Cases: University of New Mexico: Censorship of Professor After Joking About Pentagon Attack Orange Coast College: Suspension of Professor Without a Hearing for Political Science Lecture